Verizon is implementing a telematics solution in 18,000 of its fleet vehicles and plans to complete the rollout by the end of 2013.
Verizon’s service fleet supports its fiber optics and wireless networks and its customers. To manage its diverse fleet, Verizon decided to move ahead with implementing Networkfleet’s technology after it purchased auto industry supplier Hughes Telematics (which owns Networkfleet) in July 2012.
“Managing fleet assets is challenging by nature; with periodic mileage collection, ensuring the vehicle remains healthy between services, and making sure the vehicle’s use warrants the capital investment are just a few key factors where the Networkfleet solution will provide benefits,” said Ken McKenney, fleet sustainability program manager for Verizon. “Additionally, Verizon expects the implementation to increase productivity and cost efficiencies and help further reduce emissions as part of our corporate sustainability goal of decreasing our carbon footprint.”
The company’s goals for the new system are wide-ranging: ensuring fleet assets are properly utilized and improving the vehicle’s drivetrain with real-time fault code alerts.
With this wide range and large number of assets to manage, McKenney said the company didn’t just start using Networkfleet right away. It ran a pilot program in New York City, where it installed the Networkfleet 5500 device with onboard diagnostic capabilities in 260 vehicles, primarily Class 2-4 vehicles, along with a small group of heavy-duty logistics trucks.
Once the company completed the pilot, it made the decision to move forward with the broader rollout.
Many telematics solutions provide fleet managers and their employers with large amounts of data, and it’s no different with Verizon. The company plans to make use of specific key performance metrics to help optimize routing, reduce idling, and improve utilization.
“Safe operation and reducing fuel consumption and emissions, while maintaining the company’s world-class networks and servicing our customers, is key,” he said. “The immediate focus will be on unnecessary idling, followed by a review of rightsizing the vehicle for the evolving needs of the business for efficiencies.”
Training and changes to employee roles and responsibilities come with any new company-wide technology implementation. McKenney said the system will be transparent to the company’s drivers and therefore Verizon won’t require any more telematics-specific training for them. The primary employees using the Networkfleet system will be its driver management team, fleet operations management team, and safety organization.
Looking beyond Verizon’s fleet, McKenney didn’t offer specifics on future plans for Networkfleet’s technology, but reaffirmed the company’s commitment to the platform and its commitment to the marketplace.
“Verizon is committed to innovating in the machine-to-machine and telematics market,” McKenney said. “Networkfleet, and solutions like it, represent our vision for the market. The fleet management space is a tremendous opportunity for Verizon and we will continue work with our ‘ecosystem’ of partners to serve this growing market.”
The Verizon fleet includes Class 2-4 vehicles, such as cargo vans, chassis cab models with different utility beds and boxes, and light aerial trucks. Other models include sedans used by management and Class 5-8 heavy-duty trucks with aerials and digger derricks, plus Class 7-8 box trucks and tractor-trailers. With regard to vehicle makes, the fleet is a mix of Dodge, Ford, GM, Honda, and Toyota models on the light-duty side and Freightliner and International models on the heavy-duty side.